After returning to the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, Rory McIlroy is ready to work hard to keep himself at the pinnacle of the sport.
McIlroy moved past Brooks Koepka on Monday – despite neither player being in action last week – and believes his new position is due to his consistent work over the past 24 months.
‘It’s a calculation based on how you’ve played over the last two years,’ McIlroy said. ‘I’ve played well and I’ve played consistently well. The mathematics add up that I’m the top of the list right now.’
But with Koepka now ready to give chase, the Northern Irishman knows how quickly things can change.
‘Everyone keeps saying congratulations. I said, “The work’s only started.”
‘Staying there is the hard part.’
McIlroy, Koepka and nine of the world’s top 10 – including Tiger Woods – are in the field at the Genesis Invitational this week, which means even more ranking points are on offer at Riveria.
‘Obviously I have a chance to stay there this week,’ he said.
‘But I’ve always said it’s a by-product of doing the right things week in, week out – playing well, shooting good scores, trying to win tournaments. If I can continue to do that, then hopefully that thing just sort of takes care of itself.
‘For me, it’s all about the process and the steps. Setting goals that are based on objectivity, statistics, strokes gained and stuff, all that.
‘I rarely set myself goals of “I want to win this and I want to win that” because all of those goals are just a by-product of doing the little things right, and I’m a big believer in that. If you get the little things right day after day after day, and you practice good habits and those habits become completely ingrained in what you do, the rest will follow.’